Roche doubles up
Shelmaliers 3-7 Sarsfields 0-7
Shelmaliers eventually shook off the stubborn attentions of Sarsfields to get off to a winning start in Division 1B of the Greenstar Under-20 football championship in a miserable Hollymount on Friday.
There may have been a comfortable nine-point winning margin at the end, but with five minutes remaining there was only a kick of the ball between the teams, before two late Kyle Roche goals put a gloss on the scoreline for the Over The Water side.
It was difficult to play much free-flowing football given the teeming rain, but when the Shels eventually broke the deadlock in the tenth minute they did it in style.
Conor Hearne was put clear, after good work from Ross Banville and Kyle Roche, and he took his chance with aplomb, burying the ball beyond Jake Clancy.
The hosts held a 1-2 to 0-2 advantage at the midway point in the half, with Liam Rockett and Mark Power adding to their tally and Andrew Harrington and Conall Clancy replying with nice points for Sarsfields.
The town side managed to claw their way back to within a point, with Andrew Harrington tigerishly winning back possession and popping over the bar, and David Gouldson adding a booming effort.
However, two Craig Parker frees in the space of a minute just before the half-time whistle turned the tide back in favour of the Shels to give them a three-point lead at the break (1-4 to 0-4).
After Liam Rockett blazed over the bar to open the second-half scoring, Andrew Harrington replied with a brace of frees to get his side back to within two points, but that was as close as they could get.
Craig Parker (free) and Conor Hearne superbly split the posts either side of an eye-catching Cillian Gahan score before the Shels put the tie to bed with a late flurry of goals.
First Kyle Roche turned the ball in from close range in the 56th minute, and then he sealed the deal in injury time as he arrowed a shot to the corner of the net.
The winning club added the O'Loughlin Cup title on Sunday.
Shelmaliers: Adam Howlin; Aaron Doyle, Dan Campbell, Adam Hearne; Craig Parker (0-3 frees), Ross Banville, Mark Power (0-1); Seán Keane-Carroll, Chris Cowman; Thomas O'Connor, Conor Hearne (1-1), Jamie Furlong; Liam Rockett (0-2), Niall Hearne, Kyle Roche (2-0). Subs. - Nathan Ferguson for N. Hearne, Adam Kelly for Furlong, Aaron O'Neill for Keane-Carroll, Ryan Hanrahan for O'Connor.
Sarsfields: Jake Clancy; Dáire Reville, Cathal Kirwan, Fiach Ó Crualaoich, Conall Ó Crualaoich, Shane Hall, Cillian Gahan (0-1); David Gouldson (0-1), Adam Dempsey; Ryan Furlong, Seán Banville, Conall Clancy (0-1); Andrew Harrington (0-4, 2 frees), Danny Walsh, Gary Carroll. Subs. - Shane Bergin for Carroll, James Crean for Walsh, Conor Hillis for Gahan.
Referee: Niall McDonald (Crossabeg-Ballymurn).